Saturday, January 17, 2015

GoRetroPam's Year in Review



The headlines read, ‘these are the worst of times’
I do believe it's true
I feel so helpless, like a boat against the tide
I wish the summer winds could bring back paradise

Styx, “The Best of Times”

My readers know that it isn't that often I venture away from the retro pop culture musings to talk about what's going on in my personal life, but it does happen on occasion and as it turns out, today is one of those occasions. Just like what Austin Powers went through in Goldfinger, I lost my mojo this past year. Maybe it's because 2014 just happened to be one of the worst years of my life (second only to when my father and a really good friend both died within 5 months of each other) and I am more than happy to kick it to the curb. Reviewing the year here also seems like a good way of cleansing it from my psyche--it'll get the bad stuff off my chest and out of the way and help me stay positive as I head into 2015. And, as it turned out, the year wasn't completely horrible--there were some good things that came my way in 2014, and I'll get to those in a minute. So, where to begin?

*I'm still job hunting


Well, I think some of you read my Labor Day post about checking in with my job search. On that front I'm still hitting the pavement, so to speak. Some days it hasn't been easy, and I wonder if I should be taking a temp or retail job that I loathe just to make some cash until I am offered the ideal full-time job. I keep reminding myself that my unemployed status does not define me as a person and I am definitely not alone.

But, there is a silver lining. Since I wrote that post I started to get interviews for jobs that I could actually envision myself doing--and even more importantly, enjoying--that focused on writing, social media marketing, or both, which happen to be my fortes. In the last quarter of 2014 I interviewed for a marketing writing position, a copywriter opening, and a social media manager job. I felt that the manager for the marketing job really liked me and was going to make me an offer, but the company and some other things about the position were not the right fit. At the time I worried that maybe I was making a mistake, but my gut felt strongly it wasn't the best match. I was turned down for the copywriter role and I have yet to hear back on the social media position. If anything, at least I'm getting interviews and this means my revamped resume is definitely getting positive attention. Also, each position and company I've met with has been a better prospect than the previous one. If I continue to focus on exactly what I want and how I want to feel in a job, then I'm bound to manifest it in 2015. Plus I made a New Year's resolution to read/watch an article, tip, tutorial, webinar, etc. every day to learn something new to improve my copywriting and social media management skills. 

*You know that modeling thing I wanted to do? Yeah, it didn't work out. 


Namely because I got stuck first with a psycho photographer, then another one who took very bad pictures. The first photographer offered to take them for free if I was willing to drive almost an hour to a studio that she often rents. I agreed, and the pictures were beautiful. I loved them. But she took barely any full-length shots, which I had told her beforehand I needed. When I asked her via email if there happened to be any on her camera that didn't get uploaded to the site, her ego inflated and she suddenly got very insulted. She said since she did the session for free, she didn't understand how there could be ANY disappointment on my end and she didn't return my phone call (where I said I wanted to purchase the pictures.) She did, however, continue to argue with me over email. I ended up telling her I wasn't to fork over any money to anyone who could be so unprofessional over an innocent question, and that she was lucky I wasn't rehashing the whole surreal experience on Yelp. 

The second photographer and his makeup assistant were just plain terrible. I didn't recognize myself in the photos and didn't think any of them authentically represented me. He took lots of photos crouched on the ground angled up at me that were unflattering, and the makeup girl didn't use enough makeup for one outfit, then made me look like a drag queen for my final change. And this is coming from a guy that supposedly photographs for the modeling industry. I regret parting with over $500 for that experience. 

In the end I ended up submitting a few good photos I already had to some agencies and not surprisingly, never heard back. And I also discovered that I don't care. Both times that I had my photos done, I quickly got bored during each session. Turns out modeling is really boring work, folks. I only wanted to explore it with the hopes of getting a commercial job here and there to pocket a few bucks. I'd much rather have a full-time job with benefits where I actually get to use my brains. 

*A psychotic woman with a drinking problem hijacked my Meetup group for a while.


OK, she didn't exactly hijack it. I stepped down late in the year as organizer temporarily because I didn't want to pay Meetup for another 6 months of fees that were due soon, and I just needed a break from dealing with no-shows and late cancellations. A woman who called herself Barbi stepped in and took over the group so it wouldn't be shut down...initially I was referring to her as "Good News Barbi" but it soon became evident that she was "Bad News Barbi." After a movie and dinner event I planned the day after Christmas (I was still an assistant organizer) she stepped down and told me that everything about the event was a disaster (because her friend, who showed up at the restaurant more than a half hour late, was "left out of the conversation.") She also went on my Facebook page and publicly chastised me and other women who came for ordering non-alcoholic drinks and peppered the Meetup event page with non-sensical comments. Fortunately, I've gotten pretty good at dealing with crazy people and not adding to their drama, so I took my group back over and quietly but promptly removed her, saying I was sure she knew the reasons why. Needless to say, I unfriended her from Facebook as well.  

But like I said, the year wasn't a total wash.

*For starters, I got this (non-paying) gig y'all probably are aware of, writing for a groovy 'lil site called REBEAT.

*I ran my first 5K in just a hair over an half-hour, lost the spare tire around my waist, and toned up my abs. 

*I bought a new car (a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta, which I love.)

And uh, well, admittedly there's not much else. But there's also not much to complain about. I just have to keep my intention and attention pointed in the direction I want to go. 

And that kind of brings me to this blog. It needs a rejuvenation--a revised look and new banner, maybe a tweaked layout, and I'd sure like to post some giveaways on here again soon. The pitches and topic ideas being thrown around at REBEAT are definitely feeding me inspiration, and I should really get the site revamped before I end up returning to work full time.

This is the year I am getting my mojo back, baby!

How was your 2014, and how is your 2015 going so far?

6 comments:

  1. Pam, Keep your spirits up. You are a fine writer and all of us who have read Go Retro for years are pulling for you. 2014 wasn't especially a thrilling year for me either; the office I had worked at for several years closed, most of my friends there were either laid off or quit (I was one of the few they kept on to work remotely at home, but that has its issues as well), and I have an aunt who is having major health issues. So lets hope for a better one this year, and I know when the right job comes up you will find it.

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  2. Thanks Jeff, and I'm so sorry to hear about your company...seems to be a sign o' the times, unfortunately. I do still have a lot to be thankful for, so that is what I'm focusing on...and I'm very fortunate to be able to continue to work for the company I manage social media for because it's continues to build my experience in that area plus provides a bit of money. Remember what Howard Jones sang in the '80s..."things can only get better!" Here's toasting to a great new year ahead!

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  3. Kickin' that awful year to the curb is the best advice. Well, partially...keep a hold on the "awe" part.

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  4. Thank you so much everyone for your comments and words of support!

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  5. Hi Pam, What a fun blog exploring retro! I've been enjoying reading your posts and remembering back to the various eras. Your job search is also inspiring! It sounds like you have great insight into reinventing yourself. Like you, I am also job hunting. I had no idea that prospective employers will seek out a blogger for work. Now that's interesting! I look forward to hearing more about your experiences. Hope you ace the job market soon!

    Happy New Year!

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  6. Thank you very much, Vonnie, and glad to hear that you've been enjoying the blog! Well, last week I learned that a social media manager position I had interviewed for just before Christmas has been put on hold indefinitely, and it appears that the company may be in a hiring freeze. I had another interview recently for a different employer but I do not think it's the best fit for me. I'll keep up the positive thoughts not just for myself but for you as well...and I hope we both find jobs this year that are a perfect, fulfilling match!

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